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living conditions on wake island
A strategic military point located about 3,700 kilometers west of Honolulu, and the site of a World War II battle deemed “The Alamo of the Pacific”, the unincorporated U.S. territory is now home to 100 non-permanent residents – some military, some civilian contractor – whose sole job is to maintain the island’s single paved runway and military installations, should any military or commercial aircraft need to make an emergency landing or refuel. While the Micronesian atoll acts first and foremost as a jumping off point for military personnel, 100 workers call this island home – however long or short their stay might be.

Top Ten Facts about Living Conditions on Wake Island

  1. Population: Wake Island has no native population, meaning that the 100 personnel stationed on the atoll are about it, aside from the natural wildlife. According to a 2018 CBS story, only four of these residents are U.S. military, while the rest (who are mainly of Thai descent) simply live there for varying lengths of time, maintaining the infrastructure. While these residents are considered non-permanent, some have been there for decades. In particular, one contractor has been working on Wake since 1991.
  2. Education: Because the inhabitants of Wake Island are non-permanent, many of their families are overseas, meaning there is little need (or space given the amount of government property on the island) to establish a formal education system on Wake Island. That said, if the need arises, resources may be allocated to establish a school.
  3. Economy: The economy of Wake Island is based solely on external factors. Due to the land’s total area of seven square kilometers, there is not enough space to establish substantial agriculture or production. That said, large scale infrastructure is not necessarily needed – currently, fresh food, water and supplies are flown in every two weeks in order to guarantee the residents have adequate supplies.
  4. Natural vegetation and rainfall: Wake Island has no agricultural land and no arable land. Much of the natural vegetation on the island consists of what has been described as “gray, open scrub forest” by a 1959 report by the National Academy of Sciences. Furthermore, Wake Island is generally very dry, receiving on average a little less than three inches of rainfall each month (aside from typhoons), creating the need for rainwater procurement systems and desalinization plants for drinking water.
  5. Weather conditions: While Wake Island might seem like a tropical paradise, it is not immune to tropical storms and typhoons. In 2006, the island was evacuated on account of category five tropical storm Ioke, though the island and its facilities received little damage or disruption from the event. That said, these storms are few and far between, and in general, do not greatly influence the living conditions on Wake Island.
  6. Animal life: The non-permanent residents are not alone on Wake Island. The atoll itself is a National Wildlife Refuge and is host to several species of migratory birds. In the past, Wake Island has also been home to rats and feral cats. Initially brought to Wake to help mitigate a rat problem in the 1960s, the introduction of feral cats as predators greatly interfered with the bird population, with some species changing breeding and nesting habits. Efforts have been made to reduce the number of feral cats on the island, but these measures have resulted in an increase in the rat population. That said, after Typhoon Ioke, a 2008 study conducted by the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian detected only two remaining feral cats, and no kittens, with varied data on the rat population.
  7. United States Presence: Putting it simply, Wake Island is first and foremost a U.S. government installation. Located at a strategic point in the Pacific, commercial flights and tourists are strictly forbidden without proper clearance. That said, should a plane or ship need to make an emergency landing, they are often cleared to do so. In addition to the military base and the lone paved runway, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a research facility on the island in order to assist in monitoring ocean currents and weather patterns.
  8. Aid for Wake Island: Aid provided to Wake Island by the United States is based solely on need. Because of its military designation, Wake Island thrives on the U.S. military’s “supply drops” every two weeks, which provide adequate living conditions for the island’s inhabitants. Though should something arise (typhoon, insufficient resources, etc.), the United States will react accordingly, as evidenced by Typhoon Ioke.
  9. Transnational issues: While the United States initially annexed Wake Island in 1898 and made the island a formal military base in the 1930s, ownership over the atoll is a gray area at best. While Wake Island is often considered an unincorporated United States territory under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Marshall Islands laid an official claim to Wake Island in 2016, stating the atoll lay within country’s official geographic borders – and that the Marshallese often ventured there in search of a specific flower (the Kio Flower) before the arrival of European explorers.
  10. Memories of War: On December 8, 1941, moments after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese forces set their sights on Wake Island and launched a surprise attack. While the U.S. forces were able to defend the island against the initial wave of attackers, the atoll eventually fell and was turned into a Prisoner of War camp until the end of the war. On one May evening in 1943, one prisoner escaped the camp and etched the following on a stone across the atoll: “98 US PW 5-10-43”, demarcating the remaining 98 U.S. soldiers still interred in the camp, and the day they were to be executed. Two years later, the United States retook Wake Island. This rock, now referred to as 98 Rock, is one of many remnants from World War II, and the Battle of Wake Island.

A tropical paradise to anyone researching, the government installation feels otherworldly, according to the 2018 CBS story – an island that somehow belongs to both the United States and the Marshall Islands, but at the same time, neither. It is its own island community filled with non-permanent workers, who make do with what they have.

– Colin Petersdorf
Photo: CIA Library Website

Bloodiest War in HistoryWhat is the bloodiest war in history? To determine which wars or battles would qualify for the bloodiest or the deadliest can be tricky. Which war wins in meeting the criteria for this evaluation?

World War II

The global war between Axis, Allied and Neutral Powers that led to approximately 50,000,000 deaths, World War II. All of the chaos and controversy that created the First World War laid the foundation for the next global playing field of conflict that came to be The Second World War. This came about 20 years later after World War One.

During a financially and politically challenging time period for Germany, Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist or Nazi party rose to German rule. Hitler began making tactical treaties with Italy and Japan. Hitler, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles, began rearming German military in pursuit for more Lebensraum, or living space, for Germany. Once Hitler invaded Poland in September 1939, France and Great Britain declared war on Germany. As a result, World War II began.

What Happened During World War II

After invading Poland, Germany attacked Denmark and Norway. After that, the country went on to attack Belgium, The Netherlands and France. In the summer of 1940, Germany lost in its air attack attempt with its Air Force, the Luftwaffe. The Luftwaffe couldn’t defeat Britain’s Royal Air Force. Germany’s ally, Italy, experienced failure as well in attempts to expand the war. This was attempted by invading Greece and North Africa. In early 1941, Germany came to the rescue of its ally.

Later in 1941, Germany experienced a turning point of failure in its war efforts through attempting to invade Russia. Russia was too big, even with the inefficiencies of Russia’s counteraction. Its muscle and tenacity, paired with its harsh winter, sustained them at the expense of Germany’s army.

In 1943, Germany was backed into a corner to retreat after the end of the battles of Stalingrad and Kursk. During 1944, the Germans were gradually backed out of USSR territory and the Russians continued to seek them out across eastern Europe and even back into their country in 1945.

On the coast of Normandy, in France that was currently occupied by Germany, is where the D-Day invasion took place. This was between Great Britain and the United States in June 1944. Germany’s army was being sandwiched in by Allied forces coming from the east and the west. The Soviet Union touched down in Berlin first which transpired into Germany’s surrender in May 1945 after Adolf Hitler’s suicide.

Some of the most renown relationships and battles of the war occurred in the Pacific beginning on December 7, 1941. This was when Japan attacked the U.S. Navy base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Japan was also fighting with China and developing expansion in the Southeast Asia-Pacific Region. The attack on Pearl Harbor led to the U.S. declaration of war on Japan. But their battles didn’t begin until the spring of 1942. These battles built up to the Battle of Midway where Japan suffered a massive loss.

In 1943, the struggle continued between the United States and Japan over the Solomon Islands and the Guadalcanal. The fighting in the Pacific continued in 1944 and 1945. Then, in early August, the United States dropped two atomic bombs in two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This resulted in the surrender of Japan.

Global Progress Since World War II

What is the bloodiest war in history? The answer points to World War II, having caused estimates of over 40 million deaths. The war also caused massive amounts of destruction in land and property.

Globally, the majority of the world was living in poverty 110 years before this Second World War. What progress has been made between then and now? After the Second World War, the United Nations Charter was signed by 50 countries to stand on valuing peace which is found in favor of social justice, development and eliminating poverty.

In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson set forth War on Poverty in the United States. The World Bank began developing studies on global poverty and creating a definitive system for the global poverty line. Ultimately, these efforts have led to overachieving successes such as the Millennium Development Goal of reducing extreme poverty rates and the development of Sustainable Development Goals to eradicate all forms of poverty. So, the bloodiest war in history? The bloodiest war in history, World War Two, resulted in tremendous losses globally but the goals of international leaders won’t let them be in vain.

–Janiya Winchester
Photo: Flickr

Generalplan Ost

The unforgettable tragedy of the Holocaust committed by Nazi Germany during World War II resulted in the deaths of more than 12 million people in Europe, but Hitler and his party had greater ambitions for an even larger genocide called Generalplan Ost.

10 Generalplan Ost Facts

  1. Generalplan Ost means “masterplan of the east” and was the Nazi plan for the resettlement of Eastern Europe with German citizens after their victory in World War II, which they presumed was imminent in 1941 when they developed the plan.
  2. The territories they were prepared to take over and occupy were Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus and parts of Russia and Ukraine. The Nazis believed people from these territories were racially inferior and required extermination in order to make room for the Aryan Germans.
  3. To exterminate the unwanted people in Eastern Europe, Generalplan Ost called for mass starvation or moving those they wanted to get rid of farther east. Nazi policy in relation to the Generalplan Ost stated: “many tens of millions of people in this territory will become superfluous and will have to die or migrate to Siberia.”
  4. Heinrich Himmler was in charge of coordinating Generalplan Ost, as he had been appointed Reich Commissar for the Strengthening of German Ethnic Stock, which allowed him to decide the fates of people in Eastern Europe. Himmler had Oberfuhrer SS Professor Meyer-Hetling from the Berlin University prepare the plan.
  5. The plan called for the extermination or deportation of 31 million people in Eastern Europe, where about 45 million people were residing at the time. Professor Meyer-Hetling’s plan called for the immediate removal of 80-85 percent of Poland’s population and 50 percent of the Czech Republic’s population, as well as the later deportation of 85 percent of Lithuania’s population, 75 percent of Belarus’ population, 65 percent of western Ukraine’s population and 50 percent of Latvia and Estonia’s populations.
  6. How people were to be “removed” according to Generalplan Ost was based on a racial hierarchy crafted by the Nazis. Those of Slavic origin were “undesirable” and were to be moved into Siberia. The Jews were to be “totally removed,” meaning killed. The rest of the people in Eastern Europe were to be enslaved, “Germanized” or killed.
  7. Special German einzatsgruppen (“task forces”) led operations to kill Eastern Europeans from the end of 1941 to the end of 1942. They killed over 300,000 civilians in Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic states alone.
  8. Hitler argued that he wanted to acquire Eastern Europe for the resettlement of Germans to the territory in order to give Germans “Lebensraum” (living space). The term was coined by the German geographer Friedrich Ratzel in 1901; he believed a country needed enough resources and territory to be self-sufficient and to protect itself from external enemies.
  9. Hitler was not the first to insinuate racist views towards the Jews, Slavs, and other people of eastern Europe. Multiple early 20th century scholars argued that the resources of the eastern European states were wasted on the “racially inferior” Slavs and Jews.
  10. Part of Hitler’s inspiration for Generalplan Ost and Lebensraum came from the United States’ westward expansion. Hitler believed Germany’s “manifest destiny” lay in the east.

Thankfully, Generalplan Ost never came fully to fruition. It is hard to imagine that there could have been an even greater genocide than what occurred in the Holocaust. Sadly, genocides continue to occur in the world today. Foreign states must act to stop genocides and prevent them from happening, for if foreign states had not intervened in World War II, Generalplan Ost and the Nazi regime could have succeeded.

Mary Kate Luft

Photo: Flickr

Hunger in South Korea
A quick economic recovery after the end of World War II and the signing of the Korean War Armistice in 1953 has mitigated growing rates of poverty and hunger in South Korea. Poverty, however, is a particular threat to the elderly population in South Korea, which has been aptly named the “forgotten” generation.

According to a 2011 report by the government-funded Korea Labor Institute, 48.6 percent of the country’s elderly — individuals aged 65 and over — struggled with relative poverty. Relative poverty, as opposed to absolute poverty, is defined as earning 50 percent or less of the median household income.

More recently, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that approximately half of the country’s elderly were living in poverty in 2015. This poverty rate has been considered the highest among the 34 nations studied by the OECD.

Pastor Choi Seong-Won has been an organizer of a weekly mobile-kitchen for 18 years. He has helped to alleviate the economic hardships of the elderly homeless by providing lunches over the weekends.

Seong-Won told CNN that the reason for this emergence of elderly poverty and hunger in South Korea “is the more than two years of serious economic crisis in Korea, along with the global economic downturn. Wealthy people will be fine no matter the situation, but people going through economic struggles say now is a really difficult time.”

Other local churches in Korea have fed 300 to 500 seniors as they lined up for food. However, charitable meals will not solve the problem of elderly poverty and hunger in South Korea alone.

Bernard Rowan, professor of political science at Chicago State University, also discussed the causes of poverty in the Korea Times. Rowan cites population growth among the elderly in Korea shifts in cultural traditions as causal factors.

Traditionally, Korean culture has placed great emphasis on respecting seniors. The present-day lifestyle, however, has left many parents and grandparents to find work for themselves.

“That may include their emotional lives too,” Rowan explains. “A great many live incredibly alone.”

A Rise in Suicide Rates

Yet, these rates in poverty among the elderly have not only affected hunger in South Korea but have also contributed to higher rates of suicide. According to Statistics Korea, 50.3 out of every 100,000 Seoul citizens 60 years or older took their lives in 2014, the highest rate among all Korean age groups.

Seventy-year-old Seong Young-sook expressed her struggles to a CNN reporter saying, “I feel that my generation is being forgotten.” She continued, “I tried to kill myself next to my husband’s grave. Someone discovered me and I survived.”

Given that elderly poverty and hunger in South Korea are both affecting suicide rates, strategy and swift action are key to alleviating the problem.

Brainstorming and Enacting Solutions

In order to relieve elderly hunger in South Korea, the government recently updated its 1988 national pension system, now offering a “basic pension” retirement program. This expansion targets the poorest seniors and provides them with less than $200 a month.

The government plans to reach 90 percent of the population over the age of 64 by 2060.

Rowan also shared strategies to help reduce poverty among the elderly. The author suggests increasing the number of employment and volunteer opportunities for Korean elders in order to tap their knowledge and experience as well as continue to engage the demographic.

Kim Bok-soon, author of the Korea Labor Institute report, also offered a similar solution that goes beyond the pension program. He believes that the government’s labor market policy should be revised to accommodate elderly workers.

Public officials must continue to take action to alleviate elderly hunger in South Korea as well as high suicide rates.

Priscilla Son

Photo: Flickr

direct_relief_international
Direct Relief International is a nonprofit dedicated to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergency situations.

The nonprofit, Direct Relief International, works through donations, with volunteers and through the use of advocacy in order to mobilize and provide essential medical care for people in need.

The nonprofit opened its doors in 1948 in order to help people in need confront enormous hardships and recover from natural disasters that have taken away their livelihood.

Direct Relief International was founded by William Zimdin, an Estonian immigrant. He used his good fortune and wealth to send relief packages containing food, clothing and medicine to friends and former employees who were trying to rebuild their lives after World War II.

Zimdin then formed the William Zimdin foundation in California in 1948, which was a precursor to what the nonprofit is today.

When Zimdin died in 1951, just a few years after opening the William Zimdin foundation, his close business associate Dezso Karczag, a Hungarian immigrant, became the foundation’s main manager. Six years later, they changed their name from The William Zimdin Foundation to Direct Relief International.

Direct Relief International provides direct and targeted assistance and does so with respect and involvement with the people it serves.

The nonprofit spends 98.7 percent of all donations and gifts on the programs it runs and manages in needy countries. These programs provide relief packages, vaccinations, vitamin injections, food and assistance to impoverished and displaced peoples.

Much of their relief work, besides providing beneficial relief packages, focuses on the care of pregnant mothers, child health, preventing disease and emergency preparedness programs. This is to ensure that those who live in areas of high disaster risk can be prepared, and major loss of life can be prevented.

Direct Relief International has helped countless people by providing direct medical care and emergency assistance to nations who need it most.

They help provide relief for natural as well as man-made disasters and use contributions from pharmaceutical companies and medical equipment manufacturers to provide health care to those who need it most.

They employ 50 dedicated professional staff members and with the help of 400 volunteers, provide aid to thousands of people each year.

Cara Morgan

Sources: Charity Navigator, Direct Relief International
Photo: SAP News Center

japan-comfort-women
Japan’s hawkish Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has reignited controversy over the conduct of Japanese soldiers during World War II by engaging in historical revisionism. In particular, one area of contention arises when considering the topic of “comfort women” brought from around Japanese-occupied Asia and forced to become prostitutes to please Japanese soldiers.

Although the 1993 statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kano on comfort women admitted coercion by Japanese soldiers into forcing women into prostitution, the topic has been brought to the forefront of international debate recently as Japanese nationalists have started to deny past wartime actions.

Understandably, Abe and other nationalists who appear to be washing over Japanese actions during World War II bother Japan’s neighbors in the region, namely South Korea and China. Japan refuses to offer South Korea official compensation to individuals affected by the “comfort women” controversy.

Certain cities around the United States have also permitted the erection of statues of comfort women to promote awareness of Japanese crimes during the war. In Glendale, California and in Palisades Park, New Jersey, comfort women have already been commemorated. A small victory was won by Korea when a Virginia school board approved textbooks with the name “East Sea” in conjunction with “Sea of Japan” in an atlas depicting the sea between the two countries.

Japan has historically been confident that with the U.S. as an ally, the country would stand by the position of the Japanese government regarding comfort women. But in 2007, Congress adopted a resolution condemning the practice of taking comfort women and pressed that the government of Japan should “formally acknowledge, apologize, and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner for its Imperial Armed Forces’ coercion of young women into sexual slavery.”

Controversy has also arisen in China over the comfort women. In response, China has approved the building of a memorial museum to Ahn Jung-Geun, the person who assassinated Itoh Hirobumi, one of the first prime ministers of Japan. In China and Korea, he is seen as a hero but in Japan he is labeled as a terrorist.

If Japan’s historical revisionism continues, tensions will continue to rise with its Asian neighbors and Japan will find itself increasingly isolated from the protection of its major ally, the U.S.

– Jeff Meyer

Sources: The Diplomat, MOFA, GovTrack
Photo: Los Angeles Times

herz-sommer
At 110 years of age, Alice Herz-Sommer lived longer than most and had experienced something that a diminishing number of people living the world today may claim: surviving the Holocaust.

As the oldest known survivor of the Holocaust, for the past 70 years Herz-Sommer has served as a living reminder of the perils of hubris and inaction — specifically, for the nations who failed to act when reports of Adolf Hilter’s ethnic cleansing plans first came to light.

Alongside her husband and son, Herz-Sommer was imprisoned in 1943 at Theresiendstadt, a concentration camp in Terezin, Czech Republic. Two years later, she and her son were among those released from the camp after the Soviet army liberated the camp.

Of the estimated 140,000 sent there, fewer than 20,000 remained alive by the war’s end.

These numbers don’t inform the reader of Herz-Sommer’s accomplished piano skills nor do they tell us about Herz-Sommer staged concerts at the concentration camp, an activity that enlivened both herself and her fellow inmates.

We have all learned about World War II. We have studied how Adolf Hitler warred against the allied forces and nearly conquered Europe. We have listened to lectures about his efforts to cleanse his empire of Jews, homosexuals, the Roma and Sinti, the disabled, blacks, Jehovah’s Witnesses and other targeted groups.

Herz-Sommer’s reminded us of the human experience behind a man-made tragedy. History may be compressed into facts and statistics, but she, herself, could not.

Since WWII, more genocides have occurred, some more publicly than others. The Bosnian and Rwandan genocides occurred within the past 3o years while the more recent burning of Kiev, the ethnic cleansing of Muslims in the Central African Republic, and the millions of Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war, all illustrate conflicts plaguing the world today.

The death of one of the few remaining Holocaust survivors should serve as a stark warning that even the most horrific crimes against humanity will eventually fade away into the annals of history.

While the irreparable erosion of memory and experience is inevitable, preserving an international consciousness of these crimes is an inalienable human obligation. By doing so, such an effort will both memorialize the victims and survivors of the past and help to safeguard potential victims in the future.

 – Emily Bajet 

Sources: New York Times, oas.org, Al Jazeera
Photo: Daily Mail

Elie_Wiesel
In 1986 when a committee in Oslo, Norway, awarded Elie Wiesel with the Nobel Peace Prize, they named him one of the “most important spiritual leaders and guides in an age when violence, repression and racism continue to characterize the world.” More than twenty years later, this sentiment still rings true. While the world continues to change, Wiesel’s testimony of peace, atonement, and human dignity holds; the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.

Born on September 30, 1928, in Sighte, Romania, Wiesel was raised in a devout Jewish family. When Elie was fourteen years old, the deportation of Hungarian Jews began. Subsequently, Elie and his three sisters and parents were packed into wagons and transported to Auschwitz.

The screams of a madwoman and the smell of burning human flesh greeted the Wiesels. This would be the last time Wiesel saw his mother and youngest sister, who were sent into gas chambers after “selection.” This moment would haunt Wiesel for the rest of his life.

“Never shall I forget that night . . . which has turned my life into one long night. . . . Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever.” He described in his semi-autobiographical novel Night, “Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live.”

His father later died while being transported to Buchenwald. Despite the horrors endured by Wiesel during his time in Auschwitz, Wiesel remains startlingly altruistic. His main concern was never to seek revenge, but to prevent the recurrence of the events. His books give an eyewitness account of the horrors undertaken by the Nazi Regime while analyzing the reasons behind the events.

Wiesel aims to awaken the consciousness. It is not the number of the victims, nor the human slaughter factories that Elie Wisel wants us to address. It is the ease in which people so quickly adopted a philosophy in which being a Jew was a crime.

He does not want to gain sympathy from the world, because what has happened, happened. Rather he wants an answer to the question: what are we doing now to prevent it from happening again?

Elie Wiesel was released from Buchenwald in the spring of 1945. With other Jewish children, he was sent to France and studied at the Sorbonne until he left for the U.S. to become a journalist.

Tormented by his time in Auschwitz, it took Wiesel ten years to finally put his experience on paper. His first novel, Night, was written in Yiddish with the simple intention of being a coping mechanism; it has now sold over 6 million copies and has been translated in over 30 languages.

Wiesel’s story, which initially would not be published because many deemed it too depressing, is now one that inspires people from all backgrounds. His message has attained a universal degree. It is the communication of human to humankind. The fight for freedom and human dignity is not an isolated case that we have now overcome, but is an ongoing lesson to never forget the past.

Elie Wiesel is an honorary professor at City College in New York and also holds a professorship in humanities at Boston University. He is the leader of the American Holocaust Commission, and has written 26 full-length books.

Wiesel at one point had been reduced to a number on his wrist, prisoner A 7713. Today, rather than embarking on a mission of revenge, he says, “I will conquer our murderers by attempting to reconstruct what they destroyed.”

No description of the death camps could ever accurately portray what unfolded within them, and any attempts would seem to shame the dead. Remaining silent, however, would be an even greater betrayal. With that, Wiesel took pen to paper and spoke to the world. The dead, ultimately, should not have to die in vain.

Elie Wiesel, when finally released, stared at his skeletal figure reflected in the mirror, and could only ask, “why me?” The only answer to that question was to speak of the horrors that occurred. As a seventeen-year-old boy with little education, his voice was not loud, and his words were not complex. Nevertheless, they were said, and more importantly, they were heard.

The power and tenacity of the human spirit was tested during the dark years of 1939 to 1945. Though many may be tempted to believe that the unthinkable shall never repeat, compliance and silence cause us to quickly forget. But we must remember, as Wiesel teaches us, that those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.

– Chloe Nevitt
Feature Writer

Sources: SparkNotes, Nobel Prize
Photo: Clive Davis

In May of 2012, the Daily Mail posted an article regarding author Matthew White’s book, “The Great Big Book of Horrible Things” which ranks the worst atrocities in history. The rank lists World War II as number one, the regime of Genghis Khan as number two, Mao Zedong’s regime as number three, British India famines as number four, and the fall of the Ming Dynasty as number five. The Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin ranked as number seven, and the Atlantic slave trade as number ten. (The list of all ten is available on Daily Mail.) On another source, the worst atrocities are ranked based on death tolls marking WWII as number one, the regime of China’s Mao Zedong as number two, Soviet Union’s Stalin regime as number three, WWI as number four, and the Russian Civil War as number five.

For the purpose of objectivity, it is important to note that all atrocities are significant and that these calculations seem mostly based on numerical and statistical measures. The presented list below will rank the top five photos of atrocity based on a combination of measures: timeliness (1945-present), death tolls, and global-scale emotional significance.

1) WWII led to approximately 55 million deaths (including the Holocaust)

Hiroshima

(the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki)

2) (1949-1987) During China’s Mao Zedong regime, approximately 40 million lives were lost

ChinaFamine

(Famine during the Great Leap Forward)

3) (1975-1979) Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge/Pol Pot regime caused approximately between 1.7 to 2 million deaths.

PolPotKhmerRouge

4) (1994) Rwanda’s genocide led to approximately 800,000 deaths

RwandanGenocide

5) (1980-1989) The Soviet-Afghani War which led to approximately 1, 500,000 deaths

SovietAfghanWar

Leen Abdallah

Sources: The Hemoclysm, Religious Tolerance
Photos: Daily Mail, Google, Google, Google, Google